Planning to Fail Part 3

Goood afternoon. RIP Tony Curtis; he was a funny funny man.

A fine day here; stark wintery sun over a cold, fresh sky. Love it. The search continues for illustrators for Sleepwalkers but at the moment my main concern is the second draft which is taking a long time to finish. Life gets in the way. Oh also a quick hello to the returns of Sons of Anarcy, Stargate Universe and Fringe. SG:U is a show I that I like despite my complaints- if it wasn’t part of the Stargate franchise it would stand alone very well. It’s just a little too much divorced from the originals. Don’t get me wrong I like gritty adult sci fi, but they’ve ended up landlocked somewhere between the good points of Stargate and the good points of Battlestar. We will see if season 2 brings a new vibe. SoA is still going strong, enjoying it, amusing and dramatic and all the rest. Fringe is the same, still interesting. The overarcing plot episodes far outstrip the regular investigatory ones though.

Oh yes, my apocalypse plan. I left off last time with a plan for the first 24 hours. After that point I should have a shelter and basic equipment and have gathered some loved ones if I’m very lucky. Next comes the aftermath.

Post Apocalypse

The world will be utterly different very quickly. Despite all our nice ethics and civilised ideals, when survival becomes paramount, most people will degenerate fast. I think people would be surprised by how fast everyone adapts. In any case, now it’s time to consider allies and enemies very carefully. First things first- can I survive on my own? I think so indeed but it would be better to secure a group for safety and mutual benefit.

  • Friends and contacts. I need to make a secret list of the people who I will consider recruiting/joining. Every person and every journey is a risk so this must be considered carefully. Do my friends have key skills that will come in handy in the new world? I can think of one or two who can start cars and hunt and whatnot, so they have priority. I also have friends and family with countryside houses- that’s certainly worth a thought. Arm the companions I can trust.
  • Meeting strangers. Okay, in the new world, everyone must be treated with suspicion. Co-operation is great but never let strangers see weakness or take the advantage. Give aid to injured people only if it can be spared and the area is totally secure- otherwise, forget about it. Personally I would avoid using traps and tricks or trying to take supplies from other survivors by using force; as a rule, it’s not worth the hassle. Sadly, desperate times may call for desperate measures.

That leads onto the subject of gangs. Avoiding the cities and main roads would be wise where possible. There will likely be a police or military presence, never mind organised crime. All the organisations existing today that have infrastructure, tools and training will survive a mid-sized apocalypse in some shape or form. However, it would be a mistake to assume that police or military will be friendly to all survivors, be they acting on the orders of a remnant government or not.

  • Contact other groups carefully. Ambassadors can be captured and then may give away information. Always have a second group or agent monitoring meetings, ready to act if the other wise tries something clever, even if its just to live to tell the tale.
  • A safehouse, preferably in the countryside, that can be well defended. Barracade if necessary and build up a motor pool of stolen vehicles.
  • Food and water are still paramount. A source of both is always preferable to foraging; livestock for example. Always consider contamination risk though.
  • The future. Establish order. If surviving alone that’s easy- if with a group, got to be useful and stay on top as much as possible. If in a position to order others, consider types of command. Democracy certainly nice but not always viable. Extremes never good in the long term; middle ground has longevity, please as many as possible. Watch for dissenters and popular people and appease them where possible to do so with subtlety.
  • Building. Raid libraries; books on how to make electricity, clean water and so on are invaluable.
  • The next generation… well, that will sort itself out.

So, the gist of the plan is now nailed down. I hope it brought some vague entertainment. If everything does go to hell and I somehow survive, feel free to come over and ask me which point of the plan I’m at. I will probably vomit and wave a knife at you, crazy-eyed.

I think I should probably be planning for a more likely future. Careers and whatnot. Far more boring!

Peace, Bret.

Planning to Fail Part 2


Grey and miserable day in Stoke! Nowt new there but the encroaching winter is certainly making itself felt.

After getting over the [sarcasm] excitement [/sarcasm] of seeing the Eldar videos for DoW2: Retribution (enough with the core races already! Evles in space- we get it), I have settled down barely long enough to continue my planning for the apocalypse. If you haven’t seen the first installment, it’s my previous blog post.

So. We have narrowed down the types of apocalypse to plan for; I will be assuming some kind of non-total virus or world war situation, possibly with natural disasters. Next, the crucial first 24 hours!

Good Morning Wasteland

It’s happening all around; chaos is breaking out as the population panics. Most people will die in these few hours. Assuming that I’m not directly hit by Ragnarok, the first hours are very important.

  • Immediate needs. Shelter from the destruction is the first priority. Find the nearest stable structure with good access and preferably communications, supplies and some manner of authority figure. Library would be a good one, police station maybe, or even a church. Those old buildings are tough and there should be some tea bags in there. Get out of the street and into somewhere that isnt falling down and can be barricaded. First aid time- I may have been struck by debris, people or illness. Stop the bleeding! If I wake up in my own home on the day of the apocalypse, seeing the news on the tv or radio perhaps, then I can skip some steps here. This does not mean go back to bed for a bit!
  • Secondary needs. I’m out of harm’s way but a long way from safety. In the case of injuries, if first aid hasnt had much effect, seek medical attention. Call or find a doctor- know the nearest surgeries. Bound to be panic in the streets so be armed. Food and water must be secured- check shelter for supplies- failing that, I can go a few hours without it so foraging can be forestalled until things calm down, but must be done before the effects of malnourishment start and before someone else gets the same idea. Contact loved ones, ascertain locations and prioritise either pick up or trust them to make safe passage to me.

The next step depends on those factors. May need to travel to (in order of priority): Medical center, loved ones, foraging target. Staying put is preferable but likely unavoidable- in either case, the next priority after securing safety is preventing further harm.

  • Weapons. Whatever the apocalypse, there will be chaos. If it’s zombies (it won’t be zombies) then this goes without saying. Since there is still at this point a vague structure of society remaining, open hostility is unwise unless neccesary, so concealable weapons come before big weapons unless things are truly screwed up. Knives are easy, concealable and effective and of course they have 101 other uses in survival situations. Get 1 knife minimum- could be foraged from shops or home. A blunt weapon is useful for dealing with people non-lethally (bear in mind a gentle tap with a heavy blunt object can still kill, but its preferable to a knife) and also for dealing with obstructions and suchlike. Bats, hammers, etc are fine. Guns are probably not going to be needed and will be hard to find- file that one under the next stage of survival. Armour is probably not needed but if I’m going foraging I will get some anyway- sports padding and bike leathers are good examples of practical things that can take the edge off a fall or wound. If it’s a quake situation, this is important. Otherwise warm, rugged clothing is needed- could be sleeping rough and you can always take clothes off, but not always find more.
  • Transport. Foraging and transporting loved ones or the wounded will be ten times easier with transport. If its chaos out there, should be unsecured cars to grab. Check fuel guage. Get someone who can drive better to do the driving, if they can be trusted. Begin prioritising fellow survivors by loyalty and value! Doctors, responders, fighters, etc.

Foraging could be hard depending on the state of society. No use engaging in looting if the police are still organised, which they likely will be. They should be organising help for people but frankly if they panic then you just have a big, well armed gang to contend with. Don’t cross them unless absoltely neccesary- better to assemble loved ones and get home, where my survival kit will be awaiting.

Survival kit?! Yes, indeed! Short of a few items that must be obtained from shops, its not to hard to have a kit at home, which of course doubles as a shelter. So, I will gather the following tools:

  • Clothing. Again, tough and durable, winter clothing. Practical stuff is priority- waterproof, pockets galore, hoods, tough boots. Will be walking a lot.
  • Cooking kit, provided there is room. Pan, gas stove. water purifying tablets. Knife, deadly. Bottled water, lots of it. Beans!
  • Tent, good one. Sleeping bag/mat.
  • Trinkets. Goes against the utilitarian style of survival, but got to grab those essential things that keep me being me. Rings and whatnot.
  • Phone- incredibly useful if the infrastructure for it still remains. Paper Map would be ideal too.
  • Torch for light, matches for warmth.

That’s the bare bones. Once people have been rounded up and I have shelter, the rest can be planned- this is all about surviving the first hours. My most likely course would be to prioritise secondary people to visit/recruit into my band of survivors; further scattered family and friends. All travel will be perilous so this must be considered carefully. On the other hand, my home will not stand up as a shelter forever. The next stage will be all about how to go on from this point.

One more thing. Have fun!

Planning to Fail

Good evening all.

Blog posting has been a tad remiss, great start to the new blogging intentions; however life gets in the way. Nobody wants daily updates anyway, the interesting parts of my life don’t occur that frequently. Plus I was all partied up last night at my pal’s birthday bash.

I was checking out headlines and such for blog fodder and among the full moon beer, hobbit actor blockade and such I found myself wondering at what strange artefacts these news stories and events would leave for the future, should our civilisation flicker and fade.

So then I veered back to an old train of thought of mine, namely: what I would do in case of apocalypse.

They say that if  you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. So, I’m going to start putting down my plans in a more orderly fashion, to save time on doomsday. I will go through the basics with each blog post, systematically tackling survival issues, starting today with:


There are loads of ways for the planet to get hostile. The nature of the end of the world has a direct impact on how one would go about dealing with it, so I have had to consider the options and stick to one or two types of apocalypse to plan for.

Firstly we can weed out the apocalypses that you simply can’t survive, and thus my planning would be limited to running screaming and biological imperatives:

  • Sun goes voip. The lights go out and the planet freezes. No plan needed.
  • Heat death of the universe. Theoretically inevitable state where all energy in the universe has been used up and everything goes meh. Probably not a factor for my lifetime anyway.
  • Meteorite. Unless its a baby, the dust clouds and general destruction will put a stop to post-apoc coolness.
  • Nuclear winter. If there is total nuclear annihilation, then we won’t be donning one-sleeved leathers and battling super mutants; we will just be dead.
  • Pandemic. Okay, if it’s a case of a virus totally taking down humanity, then odds are I’ll be pushing up microbes.

These are but a few of the really big bangs that might screw the pooch on a global scale. So, I will only make plans for the survivable stuff. The list I have narrowed it down to is:

  • Polydemic. Like a pandemic, but only most people being dead instead of all. Virus wipes out most people, leaves a precious few, like in Terry Nation’s Survivors. As one of the blessed ones, I will go about my survival rituals, putting a slant on protection from further infection.
  • Nuclear scuffle. Some of the world has been reduced to glowing green ash, but not all, allowing for some of humanity to stagger from the ruins of civilisation and start anew. I will be concentrating efforts on clean water and shelter from fallout, etc.
  • Nature all up in your shit. Supervolcanos, megatsunamis, ultraquakes, awesomehail, etc. Focus on getting to ground that isnt flooded, shattered, or upside down.
  • General bad juju. AI going mad and enslaving people, worldwide famine and war, civil unrest, mass insanity, invasion by lizards, nanomasons, that kind of thing. Zombie apocalypse comes under this one but frankly its a ridiculous idea and there’s no point in planning for it any more than the others. Can’t really plan for this stuff anyway, but it bears considering. ANYONE could be a nanomason- lock up your daughters and staple down your mail.

If any of these horsemen of the apocalypse come calling, I better have a plan. I’m going to assume that any of the above factors could be in play but try to make a plan that accounts for all of them. Since it would be curtains anyway if a disaster directly struck my home town of Stoke, then I will probably assume that chaos and madness are going on around the world but not on my immediate doorstep.

Something bad has happened and going to work and making cheese and ham toasties is just not going to cut it; life will have to change forever, and to survive, I will need an awesome plan. Next post will be about the immediate pressing issues- the all important first 24 hours.

Have a good remainder of the weekend!